Archive for February, 2007

Four days of no running and counting …

I haven’t run a step in four days.  Damn, that sucks.

I used my gift certificae this morning and got a sports message – focus was just on my legs, especially the injured calf.  I feel better but it is still sore and tight.   Getting better but not nearly healed yet.

I ran across this thread at lestrun.com about calf tightness (it’s the post about halfway down from “calved up once” where he posts an article from Running Times).  This post nailed what I have right on the head.  From the looks of it, this might be a slightly longer recovery than I anticipated.  I guess its a good thing this happened now and not three weeks before Boston.  I may still have time to set it right and get back into some decent training.  We’ll see.  I just have to remember its not about this year but the next ten.  With that in mind, it is time to get this injury fixed.  I hope to find this thing called “The Stick” that is a self-massage tool for the calves.

I plan on taking Wedensday, Thursday and Friday off and see if I can do this “medicinal run” talked about in that post on Saturday.  If so, then I will ease back into over the next week and hopefully be back to running solid miles again by March 10.   That will leave me with 5 weeks to Boston.   Not lots of time, but enough, I hope.

Weird, not to run on Sunday…

This is a weird feeling – not going out the door for a long run on a Sunday. I saw some people doing their long runs this morning as I drove to do the grocery shopping. I was envious.

But, I think I need to get this thing straightened out so I can do some racing and some hard runs. Until this calf is fixed that is not going to happen. I am limping a bit, but not as bad as yesterday.

I found this site that talks about how to heal the injury and prevent it. I need to pay attention to these things. At least I was planning on doing the things the site suggested, so I am not so far gone as not to know what needs to happen. Patience is the key…look for the long term…this Boston Marathon is not the goal…a sub 2:50 is the goal in the next seven years.

Back to square one …

Went slow on the treadmill today and at 2.1 miles my calf cramped up bad. I am back to square one. No running for me for the next 3-4 days. I need to get his better. Rest, ice and elevation is the answer. I lined up a sports massage for Tuesday AM. I am not running Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. We will see how it feels after that. No point in keeping up this notion that I could run through it. I’ve got to get this 100% if I am going to move forward.

Bummed.

2/24/07 2.1 miles/19:50 seconds

Treadmill workout

I did not get to my run until the end of the day. It was cold and I didn’t feel like running outside in the dark so I went to the Y and did this run on the treadmill. I started out thinking I would just do 12 at a moderate pace on the treadmill. The first two miles were at 8:05 pace and I felt great. Like an idiot I decided I’d try to do the seven mile pickup that was scheduled during this run. This pickup was meant to be at half marathon or 15 k pace. I started out and ran the first three miles at 6:53 pace (1% grade) and then for the fourth mile I dropped it down to 6:47 pace. I felt strong and good but at the 4.5 mile point of the pickup my calf suddenly tightened up on me and I had to stop.

That was stupid. I should have just taken it easy and kept healing the calf. No, I had to be an idiot – sometimes I don’t think I will ever learn my lessons.

It does not feel as bad as it did this time last week but it is a setback. I will see how my run goes this afternoon. I will do it on the treadmill again so that I can control the surface and the pace. Today is supposed to be a six mile recovery but I will try to do more, probably around 10 or 11 if my calf can handle it. Sunday is a planned 22 miler. I hope I can do that, those long runs are important.

Apart from running we saw a great movie last night. I ordered Little Manhattan from Netflix. It is about a fifth grade boy and his first love. It really brought back memories of what that felt like. I highly recommend it.

2/23/07 6.5 miles/48:38/7:28 pace/163 HR

A slight improvement each day …

is nice to see.  This morning’s run was six miles and I actually managed, when there wasn’t a path of ice or snow, to run easily at 8:10 pace.  My calf still feels a bit tight but it is getting better.  It’s weird, the tightness seems to be moving up my calf and now is located right in the middle of the muscle.

It was warmer today, 29 degrees, or maybe I’ve just toughened up and that seems warmer.  I ran in shorts and felt just fine.  Something happened to me that hasn’t happened since my high school senior year in Florida or in my college days (when surprisingly this would happen often – most often in Florida; the women are more forward there I think).  Well, onto the story:  a woman, obviously delirious for spring, drove by me as I was running on the Mass Ave bridge, rolled down her window and hooted at me.  Can you believe that – hooted at a 43 year old guy.  My legs are sexy but not that sexy.   She must really need some spring so that she can see more men running around in shorts!   I admit, though, it made my day and made me feel good to be a runner again.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a 12 mile run with 5 or 7 miles (I can’t remember offhand which) at 15 k pace.  I don’t want to push my calf right now so I am just going to run the miles and see if I can pick up the pace at some point.  I will have some time issues tomorrow so I may not be able to get this entire run in.

2/22/07  6.0 miles/50:59/8:27 pace/135 HR  (three of the miles were 8:14, 8:15 and 8:06)

Back on the roads …

I ran on the roads last night and this morning.  What a relief.  My calf feels markedly better but I am still taking it easy with the still icy, wet conditions that mandate a slow pace.  I have not had my HR over 140 for 5 days now.  I don’t think I will keep with the Pftizinger program this week but will just keep up the slow mileage to make sure my calf is recovered.  It felt much better last night and pretty good again this morning.  Not 100 percent but I’d say 85 percent and climbing. At the end of this 11 mile run my legs felt a bit tired and the calf muscle was tightening up a bit – not enough that I had to slow down but I was closely monitoring it so I would not have set back.

The runs:

Last night was the second half of a double recovery day (even though all of my days since last Saturday have been recovery days).  I ran 4.5 miles at 8:35 pace and felt easy.   My calf hardly acted up and it gave me some hope for a longer run this morning.

I got up early to put in some work before doing my running work.  I left the house at 7:15 am and went out for what I hoped would be a 10 mile run, maybe a bit longer (the schedule called for 15 but I thought that would be too much on the calf too soon).  I ended up getting in 11.5 miles.  The run was pretty slow because the conditions were sloppy and icy.   The footing was tough to manage, but it was much warmer and I ran in shorts with a long sleeve shirt under short sleeve shirt.  The warmer weather felt great and made up for running in slop.

This slow running has put me back with the slow running ache that is different than I’ve been feeling after Pfitzinger quicker runs and has me wondering if I should be putting in the tough mileage that Pfitzinger suggests.   Can this old body, just a year back into this, do 70 miles a week with some much harder mid week running than I did before Cape Cod?  I don’t know.  Maybe this calf thing is telling me to slow down and take the longer term view.  We’ll see how this week progresses before I make any radical training decisions with only 8 weeks to go until Marathon Day.

2/20/07  4.5 miles/38:46/8:36 pace/126 HR (second run)

2/21/07  11.5 miles/1:40:10/8:43 pace/128 HR

The tightness in my calf remains…

I was hoping yesterday afternoon that I could do a 15 mile treadmill run (even if such a long time on the treadmill would be extremely boring). However, when I got on the treadmill my calf tightened up and I worried I would not be able to run at all. I decided to take it really slow and started off at a plodding 11:30 minute per mile pace. My calf was able to handle this and I slowly creeped the time down every half mile or so after I felt my calf had eased into the pace and was controlled. At around mile 7 I got down to under 9:00 minute pace and maintained this through 9 miles. The last mile I was able to run at 8:49 pace. The calf was tight and felt on the verge of knotting up the whole run, but it held up.

I am worried about this. It reminds me of when I tore/strained my calf my senior year in college about two weeks before the Big East Championships in CC. Then I had a trainer and the time to deal with all the icing and other stuff they could do. Now, it’s just me and work and family. No time for any other stuff. About three weeks before the Cape Cod Marathon, the other calf felt like it was getting a knot. I went for a sports massage and that helped immensely. My wife got me a gift certificate to a Spa for a sports massage for Valentine’s Day so I will try to use that this week. Maybe that will do the trick.

This morning was another run on the treadmill. I feel like on the treadmill I can control the surface and it helps me with my calf. I managed 6 miles this morning and was able to start and finish at a much quicker pace. The first mile was 9:30 pace but felt much better than yesterday. I was able to ramp it down pretty quickly and ran the last mile at 8:12 pace. The calf is still tight but obviously not as painful or “on the verge” of knotting up as yesterday. Maybe this is progress.

2/19/07 10.0 miles/1:36:51/9:41 pace/125 HR
2/20/07 6.0 miles/51:13/8:32 pace/135 HR


February 2007
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach